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The Evolution of Car Keys

28Jun

The Evolution of Car Keys

The Evolution of Car Keys

Car keys have evolved over the years. From the traditional mechanical keys to keyless entry systems, auto keys continue to improve due to technological advancement. 
As a matter of fact, modern car key technology allows you operate your vehicle remotely. Whether you want to buy a car or need an auto locksmith service in Philadelphia, it can be very helpful to understand what type of key you are dealing with. The experts at Fast Pro Locksmith have shared some highlights of auto key evolution in this article.

Edge Cut Keys

It all started with traditional metal keys. In 1949, Chrysler was one of the first automakers to introduce a mechanical key that can turn the ignition. Mechanical keys of this period have cut only on one edge.
Ford, in 1965, invented its double-sided keys, which offers more security than the single-sided keys. Though keys with cuts on both edges were more secure than their predecessor, they can still be easily duplicated on a standard key duplicator.

Side Winder Type Keys

Side Winder keys were introduced to enhance the security of the mechanical keys. While these keys were still mechanical, they had a unique winding cut on both sides of the key blade. Though they can have rough or smooth edges, the carving on Side Winder keys makes them unique and difficult to replicate. Replicating the keys would require a special type of key cutter. Compared to the traditional mechanical key, Side Winder type keys provided better security against attack on vehicle locks.

Transponder Keys

Since their inception, transponder keys have also evolved. They keys are mechanical keys with a plastic head. And in the plastic head resides an embedded tiny chip you can’t see. The key vehicle ignition must be programmed to accept the chip’s frequency in the key. Otherwise, the key won’t be able to start the car. 

Remote Keys

The next evolution in automotive keys allows automobile owners to start their vehicles without a physical key. Additional functions include locking and unlocking of the door and trunk remotely. Remote keys come in different sizes, frequencies, shapes, and levels of security.
General Motors (GM) introduced VATS keys – one of the earlier remote keys – in the mid-1980s. VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System) keys were first used on the Chevrolet Corvettes. The system provides extra security measures that protect the sports car from brute force attacks on its lock system.

Modern Day Keys

Most vehicles of nowadays combine the mechanical key, the remote and transponder into a single unit labeled Remote Head Keys. The remote is often used to unlock or lock the doors and open the trunk while the transponder starts the car. Note that the transponder key has nothing to do with the remote. The transponder key still needs to be separately programmed with the vehicle for it to work.
Gradually, slot keys or key fobs were introduced. To start the vehicle, you need to insert the fob into a slot on the dash and then push a button. This key technology eliminates the need to turn the ignition. The system also reduces the number of mechanical parts you need to carry around. Overall, the system provides better security and convenience.

Criminals are continuously looking for ways to outwit even the latest safety key system. On the other hand, manufacturers are also coming up with different auto lock system that is harder to replicate or compromise by an authorized user. Therefore, we can expect more to key technology in the nearest future.

If you drive a vehicle using any of the above key systems, the expert locksmiths at Fast Pro Locksmith will be glad to handle any of your lock needs.

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